Town council rejects £50,000 bid by sacked clerk to settle dispute so now its off to an employment tribunal

Erbie Murat

Erbie Murat - Credit: Archant

An employment tribunal will determine if Wisbech town clerk Erbie Murat was unfairly sacked after councillors rejected his claim for £50,000 compensation.

Mr Murat offered to withdraw his action if the town council made a £45,000 settlement with a further £5,000 towards his legal costs.

But I understand this 11th hour bid to resolve the issue was refused last night after the town council went into a confidential session.

One major obstacle to even contemplating a settlement would have been the cost to the town council if they settled privately with its £35,000 a year former clerk. The council has its own insurance policies in place and these could have been compromised by an out of court settlement.

It is believed councillors were advised that should a package be offered to Mr Murat then this would fall to the council itself to pay whereas should he succeed at a tribunal any settlement would be met by the council’s insurers.

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The hearing is scheduled for September 22 when Mr Murat is expected to argue that he was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct on the grounds of racial discrimination and for whistle blowing.

Thousands of pages worth of evidence has been put together for the hearing which follows the decision in January of 2013, confirmed last November, to firstly suspend and later to dismiss the town clerk.

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Internal investigation and later disciplinary sub committees were set up by the town council prior to the decision to sack him.

Mr Murat had been town clerk for five years.

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